The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

300 Frequently Asked Questions about Capability Brown, and a further 200 about Humphry Repton

Tag: Horsforth

79: Would you call Brown ‘Capability’ to his face?

A couple of late additions on the nick-name of Lancelot Brown (note 3): Mrs L of Harrogate has lately moved up in the world and now resides in Ilkley where her near neighbour Lord C recalls a comment made of the Drury Lane Theatre by his ancestor Lord Chalkstone in 1757: ‘The place … has “fine capabilities” … the whole wants variety, extent, contrast, and inequality.’

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3: When did Brown get his nickname?

Mrs B from Lincoln has written in to ask when people first started to call that canny gardener, Lancelot Brown by his nickname ‘Capability’.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs